President-elect Letter

Happy November y’all!

I am so grateful to you for being a part of the Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the work you each do in your communities. We value your membership and look forward to working with you as we continue to grow our organization.

Part of the role of the MS-AND president-elect is to plan the annual conference. We are all crossing our fingers, carrying around a rabbit’s foot, and looking for four leaf clovers, lucky horseshoes, lucky pennies and whatever else we can find so that we will be able to have an in-person 2022 conference March 24 and 25th in Bay St. Louis. Please let me know if you would like to be a part of the planning committee for this event.

I know our President, Lindsay, has been working hard to get the new state regions up and running. I look forward to seeing y’all in person at some of those regional meetings. Be on the lookout for more information soon.

I enjoyed attending the virtual 2022 Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in October. Next year will be in Orlando – I certainly hope that we can be there in person! Click here to learn more: 

Please take care. Thank you for the hard work you do everyday and your dedication to our profession.

-Lydia West, MPH, RDN, LD, President-elect
Mississippi Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

FNCE 2021

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) was held virtually October 16-19, 2021. Academy President, Kevin Sauer, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND, opened FNCE this year with a welcome and set the stage that this year’s conference would feature “expert speakers…[who] will examine the intersection of nutrition culture, including diversity, technology, mental and physical health, and modern practice.” Pillars of his welcome had a theme of diversity, inclusion, equity, and advocacy. 


Dr. Sauer then had a conversation with Simon Sinek, know as an unshakable optimist. They discussed the infinite mindset as well as how people and organizations can make the greatest impact using questions that participants sent in before the conference. The breakout sessions, lounges, posters, exhibit hall, and other events opened after that. 

The Foundation Fundraiser is a stable at FNCE. This year Dr. Sauer opened it to everyone through his “Party with a Purpose”! Since FNCE was scheduled to be in New Orleans in person, there were four virtual rooms attendees could visit: 1. A cooking demo with Michael deVidts where he made BBQ Shrimp and Grits as well as Beignets, 2. Drink and Learn with Elizabeth Pearce where she made a Sazerac and a Hurricane as well as talked about the history of those drinks, 3. Sights and Sounds of New Orleans through a virtual tour with DMC NOLA, or 4. Second Line Sounds with Brass Band PARIGI.

Sessions started back on Monday with an Member Showcase that featured Jim Kwik. He gave tips for brain optimization, memory improvement, and how to increase productivity. 

All kinds of new activities took place at FNCE this year. One example is the inaugural Sports and Human Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group reception. Mississippi’s own Melinda Valliant worked hard on this DPG’s standards of practice and Standards of Professional Performance and presented these at the reception. Two registered dietitians who worked with the Team USA Olympic and Paralympic teams discussed food and nutrition considerations in Tokyo. 

There were also many professional posters by Mississippians at this year’s FNCE. Check out a this image for a sample of the great research going on in Mississippi.

FNCE 2021 wrapped up with Closing Speaker Kindra Hall. She enthusiastically helped attendees learn how to focus on the strategic application of storytelling to overcome communication challenges – something that all of us deal with!

Save the Date for the 2022 FNCE, hopefully to be held in Orlando, Florida! You should think about presenting at FNCE 2022 – proposals are due by November 

MS-AND Delegate Report

To increase communication and transparency with membership, the House of Delegates has begun conducting monthly Town Halls which allows me as your delegate to speak to critical issues they are addressing on behalf of the profession. They currently are balancing many critical issues and are developing methods to help keep us better informed at various stages of discussion and progress.  They have pulled some they view as priorities for the profession to discuss at the Town Hall meetings.  I would love to hear from you if you have some ideas that you feel could help address any of these from your professional perspective.   

Currently the three critical issues moving forward are:

COVID-19- What are the short and long-term implications of COVID-19 on nutrition and dietetics practitioners, nutrition and dietetics practice, and the profession? What actions might the Academy take to effectively address them? 

Volunteerism- How might the Academy evolve its member leadership model to meet the needs of current and future volunteers to ensure a robust pool of engaged leaders?  

Academy Position Papers/Stances- What gaps exist in the current list of Academy position papers/stances that need to be filled to support members’ practice?    

In January we will be discussing: 

Practice Ready/Collaborative Ready– What skills and training on roles and responsibilities will be needed to better train RDNs to function more effectively on teams.

I encourage you to is consider these and send forward your thoughts on ways we can improve, be innovative with new programs/models or solutions to what you see as concerns or opportunities.  I’m here to represent you. I am planning after the Holidays to connect with the new leadership in each region so please contact me if you have dates in mind. Send your feedback to

Teresa Carithers, PhD, RD, LD, FAND

Career Education Hour with High School Students


The Junior Auxiliary of Madison County’s Crown Club hosted a Career Education hour for their 350 high school members on Sunday, November 14th, at Ridgeland High School in Ridgeland, MS. Crown Club Leadership set up career stations and asked several members of the community to share a little about their field. Registered Dietitian and MSAND board member, Rebecca Bagwell, was excited with the turn out and the interest in the field of dietetics. Rebecca shared the inspiration that made her choose to pursue the field of dietetics and  discussed the process of becoming a RD, available didactic programs and internships in the state and the requirements set forth by CDR for obtaining national registration. The sky is the limit in the field of dietetics and the future is looking bright with these young ladies.

Tackle Hunger

As a part of the Tackle Hunger Giving Challenge sponsored by The First Bank, EXTRA TABLE purchased 2,000 turkeys for distribution to 50 pantry partners state-wide. 

ENTERGY committed $15,000 to the purchase of turkeys as a sponsorship and Entergy volunteers were onsite on November 15  to help distribute to Extra Table’s pantry partners. 

“We know the holidays can be especially hard for customers who struggle every day with poverty and food insecurity,” said Haley Fisackerly, Entergy Mississippi president and CEO. “By partnering with Extra Table, we’re helping expand their outreach and make sure that food and other vital resources get to Mississippians who need them most. We’re especially proud to provide a little extra comfort to families in need at this time of year.”








Take Action Today: Support the Medically Tailored Meals Pilot Program

There are two Academy Action Alerts we need your help with TODAY:

  • Passage of the bipartisan Medically Tailored Meals Act would launch a three-year pilot program to provide medically tailored meals and MNT to a subset of recently discharged Medicare beneficiaries in 20 hospitals across the country. Add your support to this important issue today
  • We are asking for your support again to ensure our communities have access to strong federal nutrition and health programs. Here’s what’s at stake in the Build Back Better Act:
    • Access to free, healthy school meals for nearly 9 million more children for school years 2022 through 2026
    • Expansion of the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer program to prevent hunger while school is out for summers 2023 and 2024
    • Funding for school kitchen equipment and nutrition education, as well as the infrastructure for Older Americans Act congregate and home-delivered meals programs
    • $2 billion in food and agriculture research 
    • Increased support for the programs listed above will be a huge step forward in addressing health equity and nutrition security in the United States.

Take action today to be part of history by supporting these improvements to food and nutrition programs

USDA Announces New Initiatives to Serve Indian Country

During November’s White House Tribal Leaders Summit, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the following initiatives that aim to expand the agency’s commitment to serving Indian Country through equitable policies and programs: 

  • USDA Indigenous Food Sovereignty Initiative
  • USDA Commits to Expanding Tribal Self-Determination
  • Tribal Treaty Database, and
  • USDA Hall of Tribal Nations. 

Read more here.

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Apply to Become an Academy National Media Spokesperson

Are you frequently quoted in the media for your expertise in food and nutrition? If so, consider applying to join the Academy’s landmark volunteer media Spokesperson Program. Three-year Spokesperson terms begin June 1, 2022. Openings are available in a number of geographical and practice specialty areas. The application deadline is February 4.

Learn more about our program: Academy’s landmark volunteer media Spokesperson Program

Apply here:

Implementing Renal Nutrition Guidelines

AUGmeNt is an effectiveness-implementation research study evaluating how different training models on the CKD evidence-based nutrition practice guideline impact RDN practice and patient outcomes. Read more in the newly released protocol:  

Increase RDN Recognition and Coverage for RDN Services with Tools from the Academy

Are you looking to increase RDN recognition and coverage for MNT and other services provided by RDNs? The key to success is to deliver a message that resonates with your audience. Whether your goal is to affect change in your workplace or on a broader scale, the Academy offers 7 flyers to customize your message to key audiences, including physician/medical groups, healthcare administrators, public and private payers, employers, benefits consultants, policymakers/legislators, and community-based programs. Get your copy today of individual flyers at

Nominations for 2022 Election

The call for nominations for the 2022 national Academy election is open. The Nominating Committee is looking for leaders with proven skills and vision to further the profession. Nominations for president-elect, speaker-elect and treasurer-elect close September 10, 2021. Nominations for all other positions are due by November 8, 2021. Please visit to view the positions available on the 2022 ballot and download the nominations form. Help spread the word about nominations on social media by using this toolkit.

Register Today for an Update on Consumer Protection and Licensure Issues

On Wednesday, December 8 from 2-3 p.m. (Eastern Time), the Academy is hosting the webinar, “Oh We’re Halfway There: Mid-year Consumer Protection Check-in.” Members of the Consumer Protection and Licensure Subcommittee will share the latest updates on consumer protection and licensure issues impacting states across the nation and provide public policy panel leaders with what they need to know in order to protect and strengthen licensure laws to ensure the safety of the public. All policy leaders are encouraged to attend. Register today!


Get a Member – Get a Dues Credit

Help your colleagues make a difference in their careers and the profession by recruiting them to join the Academy with the Get a Member – Get a Dues Credit program. You will receive a dues credit toward your 2022-2023 Academy Membership dues for each qualifying recruit who enters your first and last name into the “Who referred you to join today?” section of the membership application and uses the promo code GET22. Nobody can recruit Academy members better than you! Learn More

Academy Affinity Groups

Connect with fellow members on top policy priorities and learn how you can get involved by attending the Academy’s monthly affinity group meetings. Click here to register for the upcoming meetings and join the COI for each affinity group. For any questions, contact

Call for Guideline Reviewers

The Evidence Analysis Library (EAL) is in the final stages of development of several guidelines and is seeking topic experts to participate in the external review. Guideline topics include Adult Weight Management, Malnutrition in Older Adults, and Flavan-3-ols and CVD. To learn more about the guideline reviewer responsibilities, and to apply to serve as a reviewer, please visit the EAL Get Involved page: )

New on the Evidence Analysis Library!

Just released! The Evidence Analysis Library is pleased to announce the publication of the Nutrition and Physical Activity Systematic Review. Visit the EAL to see the results of this important initiative:


NCP-QUEST Audit Tool

NCP-QUEST is a new audit tool for evaluating dietitian documentation based on the Nutrition Care Process. Learn more about the tool’s high content validity and implications for practice at


Seeking International Applicants for NCPRO Classification Subcommittee

The Academy’s Nutrition Care Process Research Outcomes (NCPRO) Committee is seeking detail-oriented applicants to join the NCPRO Classification Subcommittee. The Classification Subcommittee works to align the Nutrition Care Process Terminology (NCPT) with International Clinical Terminologies, such as SNOMED-CT and LOINC. The subcommittee also collectively determines the placement and classification of new terms within the NCPT hierarchy. Individuals with a strong knowledge of NCPT and experience with EHR development are encouraged to apply. Learn More.


ANDHII Subcommittee Call of International Volunteers

Those with knowledge of NCPT and an interest in nutrition informatics, research, quality improvement and benchmarking are strongly encouraged to apply. Visit our online application to view desired qualifications, responsibilities, and benefits. Apply by December 1, 2021 for best consideration. Learn more and apply.


The 2022 Nutrition and Dietetics Advocacy Summit

All Academy policy leaders and members are invited to attend the 2022 Nutrition and Dietetics Advocacy Summit, being held virtually January 25-27. Attendees will connect with hundreds of food and nutrition professionals of all skill levels to sharpen communication skills, take a deep-dive into key policy issues that impact the health of the nation and the dietetics profession, and develop new high-level personal and professional relationships. Formerly known as the Public Policy Workshop, the 2022 event is the first time this program will be available virtually. 

The 2022 event also includes the Academy’s new Policy and Advocacy Certificate of Training – an 8 CPEU value! Click here for more information and to register:  2022 Nutrition and Dietetics Advocacy Summit

This summit will focus on two of the Academy’s top policy and advocacy efforts: medical nutrition therapy expansion and child nutrition. Attendees will receive training on these issues during the first two days of the event to ensure they are prepared for congressional meetings on January 27, which will be conducted in small groups with a designated leader.